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Team Yankee Fulda Gap 86 - Bulletin number 4


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  • 1977/10: October to December - January During the Ogaden War, Ethiopia was saved from a major defeat and a permanent loss of territory due to a massive airlift of military supplies ($7 Billion), the arrival of 16,000 Cuban troops, 1,500 Soviet advisors and 2 brigades from Yemen, also airlifted to reinforce Addis Ababa.


  • 1978-1981: Libya purchases more than 2,000 tons of lightly processed uranium from Niger. The Soviet Union completes a 10 megawatt nuclear research reactor at Tajoura, libya.


  • 1980/08/31: In Poland, the Gdansk Agreement is signed after a wave of strikes which began at the Lenin Shipyards in Gdansk. The agreement allows greater civil rights, such as the establishment of a trade union independent of communist party control.


  • 1981/03/12: Official Moroccan sources report that the Libyan government signed a contract with the German firm ORTAG for the purchase of nuclear-capable medium-range missiles.


  • 1981/08/19: U.S. aircraft shoot down two Libyan combat jets that fired on them over the Mediterranean Sea.


  • 1981/12/13: Communist Gen. Jaruzelski introduces martial law in Poland, which drastically restricts normal life, in an attempt to crush the Solidarity trade union and the political opposition against communist rule.


  • 1981: Libya begins to pursue clandestine nuclear activities uranium enrichment and plutonium separation. Both plutonium and highly enriched uranium can be used as fissile material in nuclear weapons.


  • 1983/01/10: Soviet spy Dieter Gerhardt is arrested in New York. This exposes several other spies, some of them Soviet, and reveals that significant US and South African military secrets have been compromised.


  • 1983/03/08: Ronald Reagan Describes USSR as an "Evil Empire".  American President Ronald Reagan described the Soviet Union as an "evil empire" in a speech delivered to the National Association of Evangelicals. This phrase would gain fame as indicative of Ronald Reagan's strong stand against the Soviet Union toward the end of the Cold War.


  • 1983/09/23: The 1983 Nuclear False Alarm. On September 26, 1983, Lt. Colonel Stanislav Petrov was in command at Serpukhov-15, a bunker where the Soviets monitored their satellite-based detection systems. Shortly after midnight, panic broke out when an alarm sounded signaling that the United States had fired five Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, or ICBMs, toward Russia. The warning was a false alarm—one of the satellites had misinterpreted the glint of sunlight off clouds near Montana as a missile launch—but to the Soviets, it appeared the United States had started a nuclear war. Petrov had a hunch the warning was an error. With only minutes to make a decision, Petrov chose to ignore the blaring warning alarms and reported the launch as a false alarm—a move that may have averted a nuclear holocaust.


  • 1983/11/04: The Able Archer 83 Exercise was an exercise which was supposed to simulate how a conventional attack on Europe by the Soviet Union could eventually be met by a U.S. nuclear strike. The Able Archer mission differed from the usual protocol in both its scope and realism. In preparation for the war game, the United States airlifted 19,000 troops to Europe, changed its alert status to DEFCON 1 and moved certain commands to alternate locations—all steps that typically would only be taken in times of war. For the Soviets, these maneuvers perfectly matched their own predictions for how the Americans would set the table for a nuclear offensive. While they knew a war game was taking place, they were also wary that it could be a ruse to cover up preparations for a real-world attack. The Soviets had soon gone into high alert and readied their nuclear arsenal, with some units in East Germany and Poland even preparing their fighter jets for takeoff. They remained poised for a counterstrike until November 11, when the Able Archer exercise ended without incident.


  • 1983/11/22: West Germany's parliament approved the Pershing 2 missile deployment. The next day, U.S. missiles arrived in Europe.


  • 1984/08/11: President Ronald Reagan makes a joking but controversial off-the-cuff remark about bombing Russia while testing a microphone before a scheduled radio address. While warming up for the speech, Reagan said “My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” The Soviet Union temporarily puts its defense forces on high alert.


  • 1985/03/24: A Soviet sentry shot and killed U.S. Army Major Arthur Nicholson, a member of the U.S. Military Liaison Mission in East Germany. Nicholson and a sergeant had been watching a Soviet exercise when the shooting took place, but they were not in a restricted zone at the time. Following the incident General Glenn Otis told his Soviet counterpart that the United States believed the killing was approved and ordered by the Russians.


  • 1985/11/25: An Aeroflot Antonov An-12 was shot-down in Angola during the Angolan Civil War.  It crashed approximately 43 kilometres (27 mi) east of Menongue in Angola's Cuando Cubango province. All eight crew members and 13 passengers died. The USSR accuses both the South African Special Forces and covert aircraft from the United States of being involved in the downing of the plane.


  • 1985/12/21: Pan Am Flight 103 was blown up in the skies over Lockerbie, Scotland. it was one of the deadliest terrorist attacks against Americans before 9/11. The 1988 bombing killed 270 people, including 189 U.S. citizens. Investigators in the United States and United Kingdom name two Libyan officials as prime suspects in the bombing. (this incident actually occurred on 1988/12/21)


  • 1985/12/27: twin attacks in 1985 against airports in Rome and Vienna that the U.S. said it was able to link Libya to. Twenty people died in those attacks, including five Americans.


  • 1986/02/13: France launches Operation Epervier (Sparrowhawk) in an effort to repulse the Libyan invasion of Chad.


  • 1986/04/05 — An explosion at the West Berlin nightclub - the LA BELLE DISCO - killed two American servicemen and a Turkish woman, and injured more than 200 others. Intercepted messages between Tripoli and agents in Europe showed that Qaddafi was to blame.


  • 1986/05/15: The US bombed the Libyan cities of Tripoli and Benghazi (Operation El Dorado Canyon) in response to Tripoli’s involvement in an April 5 terrorist attack that killed two American servicemen at a Berlin disco.  The twin strikes killed 37 and injured 93 more, according to Libyan estimates.


  • 1986/06/04: Elections in Poland show complete lack of backing for the Communist Party; Solidarity trade union wins all available seats in the Parliament and 99% in the Senate. (this actually occurred in 1989/06/04)


  • 1986/06/05: Four men in Karachi, Pakistan hijacked Pan Am Flight 73, which was bound for New York. The hijackers were members of Abu Nidal, a Palestinian splinter group that Libya helped harbor in the 1980s, providing it with training and financial assistance. At the end of the 16-hour siege of Flight 73, at least 20 people died, including Americans, and many more were wounded. (this incident actually occurred on 1986/09/05)


  • 1986/07/03: Soviet submarine K-219 suffered an explosion and fire in a missile tube, an explosion occurred in silo six. The remains of the RSM-25 rocket and its two warheads were ejected from silo six into the sea. Through a breach in the hull, quickly sank from its original depth of 40 metres to a depth in excess of 300 metres (980 ft).  The crew were able to stabilize the reactor and evacuate the ship. Soon afterward, the flooding reached a point beyond recovery and on 6 October 1986 the K-219 sank to the bottom of the Hatteras Abyssal Plain at a depth of about 6,000 m (18,000 ft). The Soviet Union claimed that the leak was caused by a collision with the submarine USS Augusta. (this incident actually occurred on 1986/10/03).


  • 1986/07/18: The Hungarian constitution is amended to allow a multi-party political system and elections. (this actually occurred in 1989/10/18)


  • 1986/07/31: The nearly 20-year term of communist leader Erich Honecker comes to an end in East Germany. (this actually occurred in 1989/10/18)


  • 1986/08/01: August: Parliament in Poland elects Tadeusz Mazowiecki as leader of the first non-communist government in the Eastern Bloc. (this actually occurred in 1989/08/24)


  • 1986/08/02: The Battle of Cuito Cuanavale, Angola begins and further intensifies the South African Border War. (this actually occurred in 1987/09/10)


  • 1986/08/03: Romanian Revolution: Rioters overthrow the Communist government of Nicolae Ceausescu, executing him and his wife, Elena. Romania was the only Eastern Bloc country to violently overthrow its Communist government or to execute its leaders. (this actually occurred in 1989/12/16)


NOTE: Some of these events have been "moved forward in time" to support the themes of the scenario, but they are all real events.

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